18:50: I’m a sucker for this kind of thing. The FA have posted one of those GIF generator things on their official Twitter page that enables you to simulate your own draw.
I gave it a bash and drew Leeds vs Leicester at Elland Road. I did try to get Everton vs Liverpool or Manchester United vs Manchester City – but after three minutes I failed and realised that you probably don’t care…
The link is HERE if you’re a loser like me and want to have a go.
A minute delay
18:40: This season’s FA Cup third-round fixtures will be delayed by one minute to help promote mental health.
The FA, in partnership with the Heads Up campaign and the National Health Service’s Every Mind Matters, wants to encourage fans to think about their mental wellbeing.
All 32 third-round ties, which will take place over the weekend of January 3-6, will kick-off one minute later than usual.
FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said: “Whilst delaying kick-off times by 60 seconds is a simple idea, it provides a powerful platform for us and our Heads Up charity partners to deliver a really important message on mental health.
“We know that men in particular can be reluctant to talk about the subject, so it is important that we use football as a vehicle to stress the importance of mental fitness.”
18:30: I have absolutely no idea why the ball numbers are still in existence. Surely in this situation we could just print the name of the sides?
I just said that to a colleague, who thought that the financial outlay would stop the FA from doing it. If anyone has the answer to this BIG QUESTION then please do let me know!
Also, all the ball numbers are at the bottom of this page should you wish to know the team news a split second before it’s announced…
18:25: I suppose the FA Cup draw is the intelligent and sensible older brother of the Carabao Cup draw. Y’know, the younger brother who’s asked to behave when visitors come over…
Their cup draws have become synonymous with comedic errors, bizarre plans and technical difficulties.
The one staged in Beijing, the Chinese capital, at 4.15am UK time springs to mind. Charlton being paired with both Exeter and Cheltenham is also a personal favourite.
No such dramas with the streamlined FA Cup though folks – I expect professionalism.
18:15: Hello folks and welcome to our LIVE coverage of the FA Cup third-round draw.
There’s been a clash in the sporting calendar because the tin-pot 2019 Ballon d’Or awards are taking place in Paris tonight.
And that means Lionel Messi and Virgil van Dijk won’t be available to conduct the FA Cup draw alongside Mark Chapman.
Shame. Instead we’ll have to make do with Tony Adams and Micah Richards picking out the balls – I’m sure they are capable of doing the job…
When is the FA Cup third round draw?
The FA Cup third round draw takes place this evening.
It begins at 7pm and will be available to watch on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer with BT Sport also showing the draw ahead of their coverage of Solihull Moors vs Rochdale.
Former Arsenal captain Tony Adams and ex-Manchester City defender Micah Richards have the honour of pulling the balls out of the bag, with the draw taking place at the Etihad Stadium – home of current FA Cup holders Manchester City.
Third round ties are set to take place across the first weekend of January, as normal.
FA Cup third round draw ball numbers
1 Bournemouth, 2 Arsenal, 3 Aston Villa, 4 Barnsley, 5 Birmingham, 6 Blackburn, 7 Brentford, 8 Brighton, 9 Bristol City, 10 Burnley, 11 Cardiff, 12 Charlton, 13 Chelsea, 14 Crystal Palace, 15 Derby County, 16 Everton, 17 Fulham, 18 Huddersfield Town, 19 Hull City, 20 Leeds
21 Leicester, 22 Liverpool, 23 Luton, 24 Manchester City, 25 Manchester United, 26 Middlesbrough, 27 Millwall, 28 Newcastle, 29 Norwich, 30 Nottingham Forest, 31 Preston, 32 QPR, 33 Reading, 34 Sheffield United, 35 Sheffield Wednesday, 36 Southampton, 37 Stoke, 38 Swansea City, 39 Tottenham
40 Watford, 41 West Brom, 42 West Ham, 43 Wigan, 44 Wolves, 45 Blackpool, 46 Portsmouth, 47 Shrewsbury Town, 48 Coventry or Ipswich, 49 AFC Fylde, 50 Tranmere Rovers, 51 Oxford, 52 Exeter City or Hartlepool, 53 Eastleigh or Crewe Alexandra, 54 Carlisle United, 55 Solihull Moors or Rotherham,
56 Gillingham, 57 Rochdale or Boston United, 58 Peterborough United, 59 Burton Albion, 60 Newport County, 61 Fleetwood Town, 62 Port Vale, 63 Northampton Town, 64 Bristol Rovers or Plymouth Argyle
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